Working for a company at a very prestigious location in Cambridge has certainly had it's pros over the last couple of years....those mainly being allowed to visit some VERY cool and relaxed places within the grounds of a lunch hour!
Seeing as my company owns various properties on the site and rents them out to various other companies and organisations, we get to see who comes and goes....and get to spend some of our free time in some very cool locations...such as the quirky book shop in the grounds, which is well worth a visit! (Plurabelle Books should you have not heard of them...and if not....HOW Could you have not?!)
More recently though, Cambridge Cookery School moved into our old warehouse, and we were all very excited about the prospect of a few cookery classes for a bit of a giggle....little did I know....that after my first visit on the opening launch, I would be HOOKED.
Cambridge Cookery School (CCS) is run by a LOVELY lady named Tine, and she was so welcoming to us all from the very start.
Tine has trained as a chef in London, as well as being very well travelled over the years and has since opened her own unique cookery school in the centre of Cambridge to teach people how to cook great non-time consuming food in your own home.
I have been lucky enough to attend two of her many classes in the last couple of months, and I have had so much fun taking part.
Admittedly, until now, I had NEVER taken part in a cookery class, other then those that we had at school, but I couldn't even BEGIN to tell you the differences! - Needless to say, they are worlds apart from Tine's classes!
I attended the Patisserie Master Class, hosted alongside the brilliant Debora Bonnes, an Italian chef whose passion in life is patisserie and all things sweet....my kind of teacher!!
We arrived at 7pm on a Friday evening, and being alone was not a problem (Although I had been quite nervous about attending on my own to start with, this feeling very quickly evaporated!), as I was joined at a bench by 4 other friendly ladies, some of whom knew each other from other cookery classes here.
(It was great to see that these ladies were coming back again and again, it showed that these were worth attending, and they really are).
Debora and Tine taught us all to make a Chocolate Ganache, to use for truffles to die for!
We were also shown how to make a simple Choux bun, mini buns to make profiteroles, filled with a simple lemon flavoured Creme Patisserie (A sweet, thick custard) as well as a No-Egg Chocolate mousse.
All of these elements were then put together to make a large profiterole tower, *Glued* together with the gorgeous chocolate mousse.
It sounded (and tasted!) a LOT better than most were presented, but it was so much fun, and even more fun to eat! Just delicious! All of it!
With a little practice, this would make a FANTASTIC centre piece at a dinner party, or as a gift.
Debora showed us how to encase the tower with a Chocolate box, however, working with chocolate to form a box is a lot harder than it sounds....ours melted as fast as we had made it, and we finished the *masterpiece* with the box resting ON the tower, rather than around the base of it. It looked a royal mess, but myself and my team were still proud of our efforts haha.
Debora really did Cambridge Cookery School proud, she was a fantastic tutor, and so inspiring, I left with some really lovely ideas for Xmas gifts, and ended up making mini choux buns for petit fours on Boxing day with my family.
And the Ganache was made into individual truffles for gifts to my mum and sister.
These recipes will be made again and again in my future culinary adventures, and never thrown away, they are just brilliant!
My second class at CCS was called *Edible Christmas Treats* and was hosted by Tine and Rebecca Mason, who has in the past held a cake stall at Cambridge Market, and was GREAT fun to get to know whilst cooking!
Rebecca was great at giving cupcake advice, and she knows her cupcakes! (We swapped notes on where to go for a good cupcake in London, and she really knew her stuff!).
We learnt how to make Lemon or Vanilla biscuits, almost like a shortbread, and tasted divine! So easy to make, and so much fun, a great recipe to take back to show the kids....or even make to hang on your xmas tree. So versatile, the ideas are endless.
We were taught how to make a delicious Christmas cupcake recipe, which used two ingredients that made me smile...as I had never thought to have used them before! - Orange Juice and Marmalade.
These were both added to the sponge recipe and gave them a moistness that kept the cakes fresh for days afterwards. Mixed with a little spice, these tasted very festive and will be making these again for sure!
Rebecca also taught us how to make the most CUTE Royal Icing Snowmen, complete with a carrot nose (Using a sugar strand- Fiddly but worth the effort - So effective!) and a tiny blue scarf to wrap around his neck. They had us in stitches, and we all practiced with out tongues poking out for ages to perfect them!
Such an easy idea, and looked amazing on top of a buttercream-topped cupcake.
We were also taught to make a Chocolate Macaroon, which as some of you will be aware of, were a complete failure for me initially haha. Mine had baked as flat as a pancake!!....So I went home and tried again, just to get it right!
And I did....Eventually! hehe.....And now one of my most favourite recipes to make.
So easy, and light...and my whole family have enjoyed eating these several times over!
(They will also appear at The Secluded (New Year) Tea Party hehe- So if you are coming along to this, you will get to sample this delicious treat!)
The courses that I have attended at The Cambridge Cookery School have been fantastic value for money, and we did go over the alloted time slightly both times, which to me made it feel even more better value for my money.
We didn't get to the finish time and get thrown out.
We were entertained, looked after exceptionally well and never made to feel unwelcome.
If you live in or near Cambridge, give at least ONE of Tine's classes a try....You will LOVE them all!
Visit the website now for details of more classes and information on this hidden gem in the heart of Cambridge!!!!!
www. cambridgecookeryschool .com
Miss Sue Flay